Everyone needs an occassional drink to relax, to unwind, to reflect, to be happy, to be sad or to celebrate. For hundreds of years, civilisations across the world have invented and enjoyed alcoholic beverages. Wine, beer, whisky, gin, vodka and others have been enjoyed around the world for many reasons. Drinking, especially cocktails, has somewhat developed into a sophisticated but fun activity to be shared with friends and family. Cocktails were invented to make drinking even more fun! A good cocktail can break the ice and set the mood for everyone. Be it a party or a romantic evening with a loved one, a cocktail will never go out of style. You don’t need to go to a high-end bar to enjoy delicious cocktails.

The Difference Between a Cocktail and a Mixed Drink

According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, a cocktail is an iced drink of wine or distilled liquor that is mixed with flavoring ingredients. It can also be defined as a stimulating liquor that is composed of spirits, sugar, water and/or bitters.

A mixed drink on the other hand is defined as an alcoholic beverage of two or more ingredients. Usually, a base spirit is combined with other kinds of distilled spirits, mixers, sweeteners, water and juices. It can also refer to short or tall drinks with spirits and mixers served over ice.

There are many stories about where the word “cocktail” originated. One popular story refers to a rooster’s tail that was used as a colonial drink garnish, although there are no formal references for this said garnish. Another option is that the word was influenced by the colors of the mixed ingredients that resemble the a rooster’s tail. Another theory originates from the British publication “Bartender” in 1936 which stated that English sailors were serving mixed drinks in Mexico. The drinks were stirred with a Cola de Gallo or cock’s tail, which is a long rod that looks like the bird’s tail.

Wherever the name comes from, cocktail drinks are one of the best inventions made by human beings.

Here are some cocktails you should ask for next time you’re at the bar, or try to make yourself:

1. Bloody Mary

3 ounces of vodka

1 ½ ounces of pickle juice

5 ounces of tomato juice

2 dashes of white pepper

1 pinch of celery salt

½ teaspoon or horseradish

3 drops of steak sauce

6 drops of Tabasco sauce

3 drops of Worcestershire sauce

Fill glass with ice. Add the vodka, celery salt, pepper, hot sauce, steak sauce and Worcestershire sauce.

Add pickle juice and then the tomato juice. Stir.

Add the horseradish and keep stirring.

Pickles, celery or olives can be used as garnishes. Enjoy.

2. Blueberry Ginger Mojito Pitchers

For the ginger syrup:

¼ cup of fresh grated ginger

1 cup of granulated sugar

1 cup of cold water

For the Mojito:

1 cup of fresh blueberries

1 lime, cut into wedges

A bunch of fresh mint leaves

4 ounces of the ginger syrup

4 ounces of vodka

5 ounces of club soda

Ice cubes

Making the ginger syrup

Peel then grate the ginger.

Add the ginger, cold water and ginger to a saucepan. Bring it to a boil and stir until the sugar dissolves.

Cover the mixture and let it steep for 15 minutes.

Strain and let it cool in the fridge when done.

Making the Mojito

Add the lime wedges, blueberries and fresh mint leaves to the pitcher or glass.

Muddle blueberries to break them up with the mint and lime, which releases their flavor and juices.

Add the simple syrup, vodka and club soda.

Give it a quick stir and then pour the cocktail into a glass with ice cubes.

Garnish with a handful of blueberries and mint leaves.

3. Dry Martini

1 1/8 ounces of gin

3 ½ ounces of dry vermouth

1 whole olive

Stir 5 parts gin and 1 part vermouth with ice in a mixing glass.

Strain into a cocktail glass.

Add the olive and serve. So simple!

4. Woo Woo

1 ounce vodka

½ ounce of peach schnapps

4 ½ ounces cranberry juice

Pour everything in a glass with ice. Stir and enjoy

woo woo cocktail

Image credit: Savethestudent

5. Sex On The Beach

1 ounce vodka

½ ounce of Chambord

½ ounce of peach schnapps

2 ounces of cranberry juice

1 ounce of orange juice

Pour everything into a highball glass filled with ice. Stir and enjoy

6. Tom Collins

2 ounces of gin

1 Oz of lemon juice

1 whole cherry

1 teaspoon of powdered sugar

1 slice of orange

Carbonated water or club soda

Shake all the liquid ingredients in a cocktail shaker.

Strain into a Collins glass and garnish with the orange slice and maraschino cherry.

Image credit: aviationgin.com

Image credit: aviationgin.com

7. James Bond Martini

2 ounces of gin, preferably Boodles

2 ounces of Vodka, preferably Stolichnaya

½ ounces of dry vermouth

3 olives

Pour all liquid ingredients in a cocktail shaker.

Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with olives.

Enjoy your drink, Mr. Bond

Image credit: idiva.com

Image credit: idiva.com

8. Caribbean Rum Punch

1 cup of fresh lime juice

2 cups of simple syrup

2 cups of amber rum

4 cups of orange juice

4 dashes of bitters

Freshly grated nutmeg

Combine the lime juice, rum, orange juice and lime juice in a pitcher.

Add some grated nutmeg and a few dashes of bitters to taste.

Serve chilled with ice and enjoy.

Image credits: http://allrecipes.com

Image credits: http://allrecipes.com

9. Jim’s Root Beer Float

2 ounces of Jim Beam honey whiskey

8 ounces of root beer

3 scoops of vanilla ice cream

Add 3 scoops of vanilla ice cream in a mug.

Pour honey whiskey over the icecream.

Top off with root beer. Mix and enjoy.

Image credit: www.tripadvisor.co.uk

Image credit: www.tripadvisor.co.uk

10. Champagne Cocktail

1 bottle of very cold champagne

4 sugar cubes

1 bottle of Angostura bitter

Lemon twist

Combine all ingredients in a pitcher.

Add a lemon twist. Enjoy

Image credit: www.foodandwine.com

Image credit: www.foodandwine.com

11. Tropical Hooter

1 ounce of melon liqueur

1 ounce of coconut rum

2 ounces of cranberry juice

2 ounces of pineapple juice

Combine everything in a shaker glass with ice.

Pour over a tall glass and enjoy.

Image credit: www.robdrinki.pl

Image credit: www.robdrinki.pl

12. Gin Garden

1 1/3 ounces of dry gin

2/3 ounces of apple juice

1 tablespoon of Elderflower cordial

1 tablespoon of cucumber

Chop the cucumber. Muddle the cucumber in the bottom of the shaker.

Add crushed ice.

Add the gin, apple juice and the elderflower.

Shake hard and pour into glass.

Cut an extra slice of cucumber as garnish.

Image credit: uk.thebar.com

Image credit: uk.thebar.com

13. White Russian

2/3 ounces of Kahlua

1 2/3 ounces of vodka

1 ounce cream

Pour kahlua and vodka into an old fashioned glass filled with ice.

Float the cream on top an stir slowly.

Enjoy.

14. Black Russian

2/3 Kahlua

1 2/3 Vodka

Simply build over ice in rocks glass.

Stir and enjoy.

Image credit: cocktailgiant.com

Image credit: cocktailgiant.com

15. Gin Tonic

1 ½ ounces of gin

1 twist of lime

1 club soda

Build over ice in a highball glass.

Stir and garnish with a twist of lime or lemon.

Image credit: spectatortribune.com

Image credit: spectatortribune.com

16. Daiquiri

1 ½ ounces light rum

1/6 ounces of Gomme syrup

½ ounce lime

Combine all the ingredients in a shaker with ice.

Shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

Enjoy.

Image credit: www.recipesart.co.uk

Image credit: www.recipesart.co.uk

Enjoy, and remember to drink responsibly!

About Author

Jon specialises in research and content creation for content marketing campaigns. He’s worked on campaigns for some of Australia's largest brands including across Technology, Cloud Computing, Renewable energy and Corporate event management. He’s an avid scooterist and musician.